BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Blood Beat (1983) - Blu-ray Review

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Blood Beat - Blu-ray Review

5 beersWreck the halls with kinky jollies!  Masturbation mixed with psychic-linked samurai kills are truly the gifts that keep on giving.  Blood Beat has to be one of the oddest co-productions out there.  It's horror on horseback as some French surrealists meddle with American slashers to create an unforgettably bad (and badass) flick. 

Mothers know EVERYTHING.  Even when the classical musical is blasting, they know what you are up to in your bedroom, especially when you’ve got your new (and very weird) girlfriend with you.  And those gold Asian-themed praying statues on your nightstand won’t help you score either.  Their eyes, just like your mother’s piercing gaze, see everything.  

And there’s something very unique about the mother at the center of Blood Beat’s twisted tale.  Cathy (Helen Benton) senses things.  Artistically minded, she paints and paints and has little time for anything or anyone else.  Just ask her boyfriend, Garu (Terry Brown) who’d like nothing else but to marry her.  Well, if you think she's a weird one, wait until you get a load of the blue light flaring out from her son's new girlfriend!

Within minutes of Blood Beat beginning, Ted (James Fitzgibbons) has his girlfriend’s shirt and bra off in his old bedroom.  You see, he’s come home to spend Christmas with his mother in rural Wisconsin.  It’s a hunting community and there are big hunts planned, but Sarah (Claudia Peyton) isn’t a hunter and she, feeling every bit the paranoia that this little flick creates, is constantly on edge.  There’s something not right in her head.

And just wait when she starts to let her fingers do the pleasing.  With each sigh, there’s a new kill somewhere in the community.  And then the screen goes all sorts of weird with color tints and samurai grunts.  I dare you to look away from this masterpiece by way of filmmaking malpractice.  

Sometimes meeting families can be really intimidating.  Another Christmas flushed down the shitter thanks to some weird psychic link that causes one girl to thrust wildly in bed as if in the throes of passion and another to creep us out with her intense strokes of paint.

With animated color splashes and fast edits, Blood Beat finds its way onto HD thanks to a newly scanned and restored 4K transfer from the original 35mm negative by Vinegar Syndrome.  The film never had a traditional release and barely saw the light of day on VHS.  Blame it on the fact that some French dude is making a movie in the wilds of Wisconsin.  Thankfully, the results, while rickety and made on the dime, are pretty damn expressive and, even if makes little sense, there are enough interesting moments for the film to be noteworthy.       

Written and directed by Fabrice A. Zaphiratos, this low-rent slasher arms itself with a great deal of anxiety before going off the rails in its crazy dream-like delivery of a new kind of stalker.  The shadowy figure – aided by a sole flashlight beam from the production team – is out doing the devil’s work in the cold winter evenings.  The killer is draped in familiar samurai wraps (it was the 1980s and ninjas were cool) and, as he kills by blade and arrow, brings about some pretty intense kills. 

One scene in particular stands out.  The killer is lit from the front; we see his outline.  We see the bow extended.  There is a man running toward the front door of a house.  His target.  The bow is released and - SHUNK! – the man is impaled on the front door, a season’s greeting for the family when they go to see who has just knocked upon their front door.

Highlighted by a long paranormal activity sequence where Nestle containers and Pepsi cans become weaponized, Blood Beat grooves to its own scattered rhythm as sex and violence combine into one unforgettable night of blue-lit hazy terror.  You might not hear the sounds of its passionate urges at first, but it’ll certainly put you in the mood for some dramatic Carmina Burana-styled l-u-v-i-n.

Blood Beat is all about that extra gooey gonzo greatness!

Blood Beat - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
85 mins
: Fabrice A. Zaphiratos
Fabrice A. Zaphiratos
Helen Benton, Terry Brown, Dana Day
: Horror
A force of evil.
Theatrical Distributor:
No U.S theatrical release
Official Site:
Release Date:

DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 24, 2017
Synopsis: A supernatural slasher film like no other, Fabrice Zaphiratos' French-US co-production, BLOOD BEAT, applies an arthouse aesthetic to its American regional cinema stylings, resulting in a dreamy and haunting atmosphere to compliment the bloodletting and outrageous twists.

Blood Beat - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- October 24, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Newly scanned and restored in 2k from the 35mm original camera negative, Blood Beat looks wholly new once again.  It’s an art house film by way of regional slasher and it looks it, too.  There are a few moments where the print damage is noticeable, but not enough to be concerning at all.  For the most part, this region free Blu-ray/DVD combo pack is superb, handling strong black levels and an upgrade in the color dynamics, too.  The transfer is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio and supports a strong audio presentation of DTS-HD Master Audio Mono.



  •  Fabrice Zaphiratos provides a feature length film commentary.

Special Features:

Fans get video interviews with writer/director Fabrice Zaphiratos and cinematographer Vladimir Van Maule.  They also get a new introduction by the film’s director, a silent version of the movie, a short film directed by Zaphiratos’ son, and a stills gallery of images.  Of special interest is the fact that the first 2,000 copies sold through will include a double-thick embossed limited edition slipcover designed by Earl Kessler.  Act fast.

  • Fabrice Zaphiratos Interview
  • Fabrice Zaphiratos Introduction
  • Vladimir Van Maule Interview
  • BLOOD BEAT: Silent Version (featuring Nervous Curtains and Horror Remix)
  • L.U.N.C.H. Short Film
  • Stills Gallery

Blood Beat - Blu-ray Review








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